Michael Zweifel Wins 2011 Gagliardi Trophy

Dec 14, 2011 | J.Crane

SALEM, VIRGINIA - University of Dubuque wide receiver Michael Zweifel (Whitewater, Wis./Whitewater) was named the winner of the 2011 Gagliardi Trophy, awarded annually to the most outstanding football player in NCAA Division III.

Zweifel, was also the only Division III student-athlete to be named a NFF William V. Campbell Finalist ("Academic Heisman") for 2011. The Campbell Trophy recognizes the player with the best combination of academics, community service, and on-field performance from NCAA Division I, II, and III.

In 2011, Zweifel led the nation in receiving yards (1,915), receiving yards per game (174.09), receptions (140), receptions per game (12.73), and receiving touchdowns (25). He set a new Division III record with 140 catches this season, and is the all-time NCAA leader (all divisions) with 463 career receptions. He led the Spartans to a 9-2 record and their first conference championship in 31 years. He currently holds nine University of Dubuque records, four Iowa Conference records, three NCAA records, and one Wisconsin Conference record.

Zweifel, the 2011 Iowa Conference Offensive MVP, earned numerous awards this season including Iowa Conference Athlete of the Week (Week 9), Iowa Conference Football Offensive Player of the Week (Week 3 and 9), D3football.com Team of the Week (Week 3, 4, 6, 8, and 9), and Beyond Sports Network Performer of the Week (Week 4 and 6). He also headlined the 2011 AFCA DIII Coaches All-American Team, Beyond Sports Network All-American Finalist, D3football.com All-West Region Offensive Co-Player of the Year, First Team D3football.com All-American, and Second Team Associated Press Little All-American (Division II, III, and NAIA).

Zweifel, who maintains a 3.90 grade-point average with a major in Health, Wellness, and Recreation, has also been named the Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-America of the Year, a finalist for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, and featured on the NCAA's online On Campus Show. He represented all IIAC athletes at the NCAA Student Leadership Conference, annually leads the Spartan football team on a community park clean-up effort, he is the chair of the Senior Gift committee, has facilitated Kid’s Athletics Day in the Greater Dubuque community; and has helped with Special Olympian Day on campus.

"This award means as much to me as it does to my teammates," commented Michael. "I have the best teammates in the world. My phone was vibrating in my pocket all night as many of them were all texting me and I can't thank them enough for being part of team which had so much success this season. I'm just incredibly honored to be privileged with this award, there are so many good players in the country and some how to have me selected is incredible."

The Gagliardi Trophy, presented annually since 1993, recognizes the student-athlete who excels in three areas: football, academics, and campus/community service. The award, presented by the Jostens Company and the J-Club of Saint John's University (MN), is named after legendary Hall of Fame Coach John Gagliardi of St. John's.

The William V. Campbell Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. Each of the 16 finalist received an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship at the 54th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 6 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, which recognizes each individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation.